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Needs of the Self-Confident Type


The needs of the Self-Confident type are derived from John M. Oldham's description of the Self-Confident style. In Stoic philosophical and psychological theory these needs are vices. They are analogous to Karen Horney's neurotic needs, which are better called irrational needs. They are irrational because they require things not in our power and involve false judgment of what is good or evil. (see G. Sterling).

Irrational needs are vices. The vices listed below are based on certain false values. The source of every vice is a false judgment of what is good or evil. But our judgments are in our power. Therefore, our vices are in our power.

The idealized image is chiefly a glorification of the needs which have developed (Horney, pg. 277).

  • needs to stand out (Oldham, 85)
  • needs to be leaders, shining lights, attention-getters in the public or private spheres (85)
  • needs to get what they want (85)
  • needs to work the crowd, motivate it, and lead it (85)
  • needs to believe in themselves and their abilities (86)
  • needs to believe that they are unique and special and that there is a reason for their being on this planet (86)
  • needs others to treat them well at all times (86)
  • needs to be open about their aspirations and possibilities (86)
  • needs to take advantage of the strengths and abilities of other people in order to achieve their goals. Needs to be shrewd in their dealings with others (86)
  • needs to compete, get to the top, and stay there (86)
  • needs to identify with people of high rank and status (86)
  • needs to visualize themselves as the hero, the star, the best in their role, or the most accomplished in their field (86)
  • needs to focus their awareness on their own thoughts and feelings and on their overall inner state of being (86)
  • needs to receive compliments, praise, and admiration (86)
  • needs to look out for number one (87)
  • needs to believe in themselves (87)
  • needs to get what they feel they deserve (87)
  • needs to believe that they were "born under a lucky star" (88)
  • needs status and image and/or power (88)
  • needs to be and succeed in what they believe they are to begin with: important, deserving people (88-89)
  • needs to avoid being aware of their shortcomings (89)
  • needs to avoid criticism (89)
  • needs to see other people as a means to a successful end (90)
  • needs to compete; needs competition and needs to stay one step ahead at all times (90)
  • needs to be needed (91)
  • needs others' attention and love (91)
  • needs to be admired (91)
  • needs to be a success (95)
  • needs to see the world as their own personal stage (95)

Narcissistic personality, or character, disorder is comprised of these and other irrational needs, or vices.

Values of the Self-Confident Type

Karen Horney (1950). Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton.

John M. Oldham and Lois B. Morris (1995). The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam.

Grant Sterling (2005). "Core Stoicism." International Stoic Forum.

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Key to the Stoic Philosophy of Epictetus